Down with exhaustion
Dank sunrise below Pink Mountain.
You groan out of your tent,
stretching the heels of your hands
onto the pad of beige gravel
before you swallow the cold
or realize maturity isn’t something
you can work on. In the bush you
find vertebrae in owl pellets
and rickety moose calves learning
to pull choice branches with their lips.
All you can think is, I’d kill
for some furniture, a carpet,
an uncomfortable desk chair.
Living outside for forty-three days,
scrambling vague slopes and ringing
a dinner bell—the pitch makes you mental.
There’s no time except mealtime,
no correspondence between words:
red rot, bagging out, slash and cache whores.
One morning your site’s blotted with clumps
of brown fur, reeks like turned earth and saliva.
You crawl on all fours, gather up
remains to force another animal.
No one knows I’m gone
In the thick of it you’d brighten
at the sight of me, tracing
the pattern of sternum
bulge beneath my skin.
My insides were the empty hull
of a lode ship for an unnamed
pilot, a conveyance withstanding
heavy seas, memory trick
of white cap / red nose: waiting.
As my body dried out,
I looked for a swimmer—
the waking wet, sleeping wide,
a blonde who wouldn’t russify.
Because I lied about everything
except my height, grave site
and walkyr bloodlines,
there was no safety
between our legs.
You demanded bones
pulled from the context
of flesh, ruins in brine.